Sydney's Best Small Bars


Sydney CBD
The Rook
Level 7, 56-58 York Street

The Rook, Sydney CBD

An adventure to find, elaborate décor and a great menu – The Rook should be set to impress, but somehow this city small bar fails to deliver the wow factor. After taking the elevator up to ‘floor R’, you walk into a large, elegantly industrial space with restaurant to the right and bar to the left. The space feels lively and cozy during the post work rush, but starts to take on a slightly awkward, too-big feel as people trickle out around 8.30pm. It’s obvious lot of thought has gone into the décor – with the large blackboards, graffitied walls and corrugated iron finishes – but in a lot of ways it feels like just another small bar, without a personality of its own. Desptie that, the soundtrack – a collection of golden oldies and pop classics – has enough personality on its own. Food is The Rook’s real calling card, with a short but sweet menu of lobster, burgers and snacks and specials on offer. The food is excellent (especially the onion rings) and the service speedy, but a meal will set you back: lobster is $50, and even the comparatively cheap burgers will cost you $20+ a pop. Drinks have the same problem: delicious, but pricey. There’s a good range of wines and beer for the unadventurous, but the cocktails are a treat. They seem to follow a theme of ‘fruity, with a kick’ ($18 to $22). All up, The Rook seems more suited to early evening, post-work drinks rather than being a late night, weekend venue. What it might lack in personality and affordability, it makes up for in quality of food and drink – best to be enjoyed before your night kicks off.

In brief: The Rook
Best things: A rare rooftop experience in Sydney.
Ideal for: Post-work catch-ups over dinner and drinks.
Don't miss: The onion rings. Date tip: Grab a small table by the wall for intimacy (and so you can hear each other)
Gripes: Both food and drinks are on the pricey side.
Rating: 7/10

Review by AW

The Rook on Urbanspoon

Last updated: August 2017
You are here: The Rook, Sydney CBD review and address. This find-me-if-you-can small bar, hidden on the rooftop of an office block, offers great food and a laidback atmosphere.